Thursday, October 30, 2014

Sifting - The purpose of God

“Simon, Simon, look out! Satan has asked to sift you like wheat. But I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And you, when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:31 - 32 (HCSB)

We are looking at the account of Peter's denial so we learn deep truths about this process. We pondered yesterday that the devil cannot sift a believer without Christ's permission. Jesus told Peter ahead of his rejection and denial. Satan is called the "accuser of the brethren" in revelation 12:10. He comes before God and seeks to place accusations against us. He asks to be able to sift believers - especially those that God will use or is using.

So, why does God allow this to happen? The answer is - God uses sifted people. He uses the sifting to bring honor and glory to Himself. He uses weak, imperfect people. Those who are prideful or strong are sifted to remove these "lumps" in their lives. He allows the sifting so that we can grow and mature in our relationship with Him. We cannot be used until we are broken. When God allows us to be broken (from our pride, self-confidence, self-assurance) then and only then can He use us. David realized this and wrote about being restored following his sin with Bathsheba.

Every sin we commit as a Christian is a denial of our Lord. We defame Judas for his betrayal, yet at the same time God showed us the betrayal by Peter of Jesus. Judas did not repent. Peter went out with bitter tears and felt that God was through with him. No matter what we do in sin, it is a denial of our Lord and Savior.

I am so thankful in my life that God did not end the account of Peter here. He was warned, he denied Christ, and he wept bitterly. Feeling condemned, we will see what God did in the next devotion.

Ponder today, what areas of your life have you denied Jesus. What sins have you allowed to come in, the sifting you have allowed. And look up, your redemption draws near.

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